What is the least possible work you can do for the most possible reward? At the end of the day, that’s really the goal isn’t it? We can work out all day long, but at a certain point, your body will stop responding to the workouts and no further adaptation occurs. Finding this point and using it to maximize your efficiency is what we call the minimum effective dose. So, how do we find that?
At first, it is a bit of trial and error. Every person is different and as such, everyone adapts differently to different stressors. For example, I respond really well to 1 rep at near maximal load followed by multiple reps at submaximal load. You may respond poorly to that protocol and instead may need multiple reps at real maximal load in order to get the same adaptation (in this example, we are looking at strength adaptation).
It takes some time to find what the right dose is for you. We start slow and see how you respond to less volume and intensity. If there is good adaptation, we will turn up both volume and intensity a touch and see how you respond. Are the results better or worse? We follow this trend until we hit a point where the adaptation is leveling off and recovery is becoming more and more difficult. This is a sign that we have gone beyond the minimal effective dose. From there, we will dial it back a touch and see if the results are in line with where they were, but with perceived exertion and recovery in ranges that are acceptable.
In simple terms, we start easy, push you more and more until you hit a point where the workouts are too taxing on your system (but not to the point of injury), and then dial it back a bit it make it easier on you, but get the same results.
This process will allow you to see the most possible progress with the least amount of energy expenditure. It will make your workouts more efficient and will keep you far healthier than if you were to do too much over and over and risk injury or overtraining.
If you don’ feel comfortable applying this strategy on your own, schedule an intro and one of our coaches will be able to help you out! You can schedule that here: